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Book Review - Watcher In The Forest by Joanna Orwin

Watcher in the Forest (Oxford University Press 1987) Watcher in the Forest  by  Joanna Orwin  is, in my opinion, among the great New Zealand children's books, up there with  X Marks The Spot  by  Joan de Hamel  and  The World Around the Corner  by  Maurice Gee . This story has a time slip element, which for me evokes  The House in Norham Gardens  by  Penelope Lively , one of my favourite books. I really enjoyed the way the story, similarly to that book, deals with time as well as the connection between past and present. At no point did I fear for the characters' safety, but this did not diminish the book for me. Rather, I appreciate that the author gave the story time to breathe, allowing for a quiet, calm yet spooky atmosphere. This sort of story would not be written in the modern day. Nowadays, I've noticed that popular children's novels tend to be very fast-paced, full of lots of action and adventure. Less often do I see children's books that take things more slo

The Fall of Icarus

The new book that I have illustrated is out! The Fall of Icarus Published by Quirky Quail Press 2022  Wellington, New Zealand  ISBN: 978-0-473-64642-4 (Hardcover) The flight of Daedalus and Icarus is retold here by Paddy Rockell and Isaac du Toit. Even in the modern day, it helps us understand the importance of knowing our limits, but also our value. This new interpretation of this timeless story brings it to a new audience.

The Story of King Midas

Published by Quirky Quail Press 2022  Wellington, New Zealand  ISBN: 978-0-473-61765-3 (Hardcover) The story of King Midas and his golden touch has been retold here for a new generation. In doing so, it has been shown to still have relevance and importance to us in the modern day; it tells us to be careful what we wish for. This retelling by Paddy Rockell and Isaac du Toit adds its own spin to this classic, timeless myth.

New Zealand red admiral

I’ve been trying to get a photo of a Red Admiral on Ongaonga for a while. Finally today I achieved my goal. Ongaonga can be deadly to humans but is the natural habitat of the Red Admiral.

Limestone Creek Reserve Glow Worm Caves

Yesterday I had a great time exploring an amazing limestone cave!

The huia. - Nga Taonga

If the recent possible sighting and audio recording of the South Island kōkako were of interest to you I recommend listening to the NZBCs account of the dying years of the Huia with first-hand accounts of actual and possible sightings.

Imagine This Isaac du Toit

I sound a bit stilted on this but it was really cool to be interviewed as part of Porirua library’s Imagine This summer festival where I talk about making dioramas for illustration.